Disclaimer: Both Honey Magazine and The Daily Beacon operate under the guidance of the Office of Student Media.
Flashback to January 2019. Honey Magazine is brand new, and with only a handful of women on staff, little content and minimal outreach, UT’s first feminist publication is struggling to make itself known.
Now, jump ahead two years: Honey is buzzing with life. As this by-women, for-women magazine breaks onto the student media scene, however, some may be wondering: what exactly is Honey all about?
“At Honey, we believe in the power of feminism. Our mission is to promote those who align with our feminist values on campus and within Knoxville communities by providing real, relatable content,” the magazine states on their website.
With an umbrella that covers everything from beauty, lifestyle and entertainment to horoscopes, features and investigative pieces, the young publication has made considerable strides as of late.
Emma Hudson, senior English major, is Honey’s current editor in chief.
“We’ve been working on this content for quite a bit of time, and so just over winter break we’ve been able to get our website up and running, which is where all the content can be found, and our goal is to be able to start properly uploading our content on a weekly basis,” Hudson said.
As Honey’s outreach capabilities grow, the editor team is also taking steps to expand the network of women on staff.
Thanks to an opportunity to present before Journalism 175 classes, in which students are given the chance to join a student media organization like Honey, the existing team of editors has witnessed a massive surge in staff applications within the last semester alone.
“That in itself happened in such a short period of time to me. I didn’t imagine that we would need an application before I graduated, and so that in itself shows that there are students out there that really want to see Honey become a thing and get to become a part of that growth,” Hudson said.
Between the influx of new staff and the increased speed at which content is now being produced, managing editor and sophomore business management major Chloe Weaver has also noticed a significant change in the nature of the magazine.
“(Honey has grown) beyond what I could hope for. … There was no organization, and it was just kind of chaotic initially, but since then we’ve gotten just a whole lot of structure. Everything is laid out, and you can see the potential for the magazine,” Weaver said.
With staff numbers now stretching into the 30’s, the women behind Honey have built quite the army to tackle everything from social media management to article releases to video production.
“I feel safer with this team. I feel good about open communication, and there’s no hostility on our team at all. We all work really well together,” Weaver said.
“Everybody shares the same goal of running this magazine and making a successful space for women to create on campus, so I think sharing that goal makes everything run a lot smoother, and I really love the collaboration that we have on our team.”
Honey has made it clear that it has no plans of slowing down in the new year, with its sights now set on releasing a themed print issue each semester.
“I hope that Honey will be a name that people recognize and associate with great feelings of belonging and excitement to see what content that we have in store,” Hudson said.
Looking back to 2019, much has changed. With two years, dozens of staff members and extensive content under its belt, Honey is thriving like never before. Despite stemming from the dreams of just a few ambitious Volunteers, the reputation that Honey has planted for itself is one that will long outlive the college days of its founders.
“(Honey is) definitely something that has been so fundamental in my college experience, and I’ve stuck by it because I really love the idea of community,” Hudson said.
“I believe that being able to present feminist content is what the UT campus needs, and I love it for that reason. … That is what pushed me on -- knowing that it provides that for the campus.”
Honey’s staff applications will remain open until Feb. 5, and are accessible through their social media (@honeyutk) or at this link.